If we ever needed anymore reasons to sever ties with Mother England, Governor-General Quentin Bryce just handed us a million-dollar reason to.
A few months ago Madam Bryce heading to Africa to lobby for a seat for Australia on the UN Security Council, and chalked up over $700,000. Foreign Affairs chipped in $290,000 towards junket.
- $300,000 was paid to diplomats and government officials for the 18-day trip.
- $31,000 for accommodation
- $10,000 for vehicle hire
- $2,000 on gifts, including children's books, soft toys, mouse pads and pencil cases
- $17,000 for "miscellaneous" costs
- $64,000 on food, accommodation and gifts during the 10-country visit.
- $350,000 for flights on a VIP aircraft
The Herald Sun reported that Parliament was told that nearly half of Bryce's 85 staff had resigned since she took the role in September 2008.
Bryce has said that her office "takes a prudent approach in relation to all expenditure".
Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith says the "campaign" to secure a temporary position on the Security Council from 2013 for Australia will cost at least $13 million.